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Friday, September 29, 2006

UK's Largest Equestrian Center to be Built near Edward Martin's Home in Scotland

News about Mr. Edward Martin is sparse, but thanks to farrier Jean Meneley of Nevada, we do receive occasional reports. For those who don't know him, Edward Martin is the senior statesman of the worldwide farrier industry and a friend to all in the horseshoeing and blacksmithing worlds. Among Edward's many accomplishments and honors include the MBE, "Member of the British Empire", awarded by the Queen for his services to farriery. I could do a blog just about Edward!

Edward is still quite weak from the complications of Parkinson's disease, but thanks to the efforts of his sister, Jane, is still able to live at home in the little village of Closeburn in the Scottish borders district. Edward enjoys hearing from old friends, so please write to him. The fact that you may not receive a response does not lessen the value of your effort in writing to him.

Edward's neighborhood is buzzing today! Former British Olympic event rider Karen Dixon is a neighbor of Edward's, and I believe one of his former clients, as well. According to a report received from Horse & Hound (UK magazine) today, Karen and her husband Andrew have just announced plans to build the largest equestrian center in all the United Kingdom, at a cost of 30 million pounds...somewhere around $65 million. In addition to stabling, arenas, and a cross country course, the plan also calls for a village, presumably with an equestrian theme.

The location is the town of Lockerbie, site of the horrific Pan Am aircraft bombing about ten years ago, and just up the road from Edward's village. With my tongue set firmly in my cheek, I can't help but wonder if it will be called "The Robert Burns Equestrian Center", after the area's beloved native poet.

Here's a PS from Horse & Hound that I thought was interesting: "The development trend comes on the back of a recent British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) survey which found the number of people riding in Britain has nearly doubled from 2.4m in 1999 to 4.3m in 2006."

Those are numbers that you could take to the bank.

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